Washington to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by 9/11
Joe Biden: support for the Afghan government, but no longer on a military level. There are 3,500 US troops on the ground, along with another 7,000 from NATO. The Taliban sing victory: The United States has lost, we will restore the Islamic government. A civil war scenario. The conflict has caused almost 160 thousand deaths: between 35 and 43 thousand are civilians. US forces suffered 2,312 casualties.
Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The United States will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by 11 September, the anniversary of the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon orchestrated by al-Qaeda. The announcement was made yesterday by President Joe Biden, who thus puts an end to the longest war ever fought by the US.
Biden has delayed the withdrawal agreed by the Trump administration with the Taliban in February 2020 by a few months. It provided for the demobilization of all US and NATO military by May 1st. In exchange, the Taliban guerrillas were supposed to cut ties with other jihadist organizations, lay down their arms and participate in the political life of the country: commitments that according to Washington were only partially respected.
The Taliban are Muslim fundamentalists of Pashtun ethnicity, originally from the south of the country. They are active in almost all Afghan provinces. Washington and Northern Alliance forces (mostly Tajiks and Uzbeks) overthrew the Taliban government between late 2001 and early 2002, immediately after the 9/11 attacks: the fundamentalist group was home to the leaders of al -Qaeda.
Currently the US has 3,500 soldiers in Afghanistan, 2,500 are framed in the NATO mission. Biden stressed that the United States will continue to support the Afghan government, but no longer on a military level.
President Ashraf Ghani’s executive has long been engaged in peace talks with the Taliban; however, the negotiations are struggling to make progress. According to most analysts, the Taliban will take advantage of the US withdrawal to regain power.
The scenario that presents itself for the future is therefore that of a new civil war. In an interview with the BBC published today, a Taliban leader said that his group "won the war and the US lost it". Haji Hekmat, "shadow" mayor of the northern province of Balkh, said equally explicitly that the Taliban’s goal is to restore a sharia-ruled Islamic emirate.
According to the latest data, the conflict has caused almost 160 thousand deaths: between 35 and 43 thousand are civilians. US forces suffered 2,312 casualties.